Nourish - How to Make a Herbal Infusion
A herbal infusion is a wonderful way to extract a potent amount of nutrients from a herb. Water is a commonly used solvent to extract herbal properties. It’s probably best known in the form of a tea, however an infusion is a lot stronger.
To compare a tea to a herbal infusion for everyone’s understanding,
a tea uses a small amount of a herb whereas an infusion uses a large amount of a herb/herbs.
In addition, a tea is brewed for a short amount of time versus an infusion which is brewed for a long and varying amount of time.
You’ll also find that with a tea, you use either a fresh herb or a dried herb. In contrast, an infusion only uses the dried herb.
The terms ‘infusion’ and ‘decoction‘ are somewhat vague, so for transparencies sake, my definition here of an infusion may also be known as a decoction in other writings.
Ingredients for a herbal infusion:
- 1 litre of boiling water
- 30 grams of dried herb
- pour one litre of boiling water over 30 grams of dried herb in a canning jar, or teapot and cover it tightly
- Let it brew for a designated time period (see below) or overnight.
- In the morning, strain out the mineral-rich liquid and drink it.
I would like to point out here that the different parts of the herbs can be infused differently.
Generally, roots and barks require a longer infusion of a minimum of 8 hours.
Leaves require a minimum of 4 hours.
Seeds and berries are generally only 30 minutes, with the exception of rosehips and hawthorn which are good for 4 hours.
Flowers only need about 2 hours, with the exception of chamomile. This beautiful flower is incredibly pungent and only needs 30 minutes max.
For more information on herbal times, I encourage you to research more about your specific chosen herbs.
Herbs to consider
- Stinging Nettle
- Raspberry Leaf
- Lemon Balm
- Holy Basil (Tulsi)
- Skull Cap
How to Consume an Infusion
- You can reheat it in batches and drink throughout the day. Just reheat on the stove, or add some hot water from the kettle.
- Equally, drink it cold or over ice.
- Some herbs blend well with other herbs such as peppermint. In this case, whip up a peppermint tea and add your infusion. For example, nettle and peppermint are lovely together.
- Add some honey to your infusion.
- Cook with it. Depending on the herbs, you can add any leftovers to a dish whilst cooking. For example, I’ve added nettle infusion to a soup with great success. Obviously, it depends on the herbs you’re using.
If you don’t drink the entire litre in one day, make sure to finish it by the next day. These brews don’t last too long.
Naturally, you can make a smaller amount. Simply reduce the water and herb ratio.
To learn How to Make a Herbal Decoction, read about it here.
*Please note this is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you are taking medication or have a diagnosed condition.